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Barr to *fix* public education with ever more confusion?

By johnboy - 24 May 2011 22

The Canberra Times brings word of plans to make public education ever more confusing to parents in a bid to counter the exodus to private education:

Sweeping reforms to Canberra’s government high schools and colleges could include widespread access to virtual classrooms, encouraging top high school students to take university courses and even condensing Year 9-12 into three years.

Sounds like more of the problem, not the solution.

What’s Your opinion?


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22 Responses to
Barr to *fix* public education with ever more confusion?
triffid 5:04 pm 24 May 11

Sleaz274 said :

More kids in private education means better educational outcomes for students in public schools as scarce resources are less utilised. This improves class sizes which in primary school’s at least is the single greatest determinant of educational outcomes.

Inversely the more students that attend private schools the worse the educational outcomes become for them. Assuming a set number of schools.

Summarised more succintly for triffid who I think proved my point with their own drunken (one can only presume) reasoning. Sounds like the opposite of a social class hierarchy.

Yeah . . . those long lunches get me every time.

Explain to me, then, in simple terms (so that even monosyllabic and booze addled ‘ole me can understand) the underlying assumptions and sub text when you say,” . . . yet people wanting to access better services for their kids pay extra.”

‘Cos my point wasn’t about class sizes, or whatever funding offset might be derived from your market system but, rather, about the need for there to be no difference in the prospect of quality education outcomes irrespective of if a private or public school is attended. What? You get a better education because you can afford it? School tie network remains alive and well? I might be drunk, but at least I’m not on drugs.

LeatherJen 4:21 pm 24 May 11

Gerry-Built said :

as long as Barr refuses to accept that there are students that need to be removed from the “normal” school setting and given some form of intensive redirection, the situation will continue to worsen… I, for one, am sick of the problem students being ignored… They are a fact of life – but teachers, staff and schools need support to help deal with them. Whilst “scum” may be a harsh word to use for them; keep in mind we have in our Public Schools; kids that break the law, kids that assault other kids, kids that refuse to come to class to learn – and actively refuse to allow others to learn and kids with serious mental health issues. Whilst these difficult students attend normal classes, they are a distraction to the other kids, almost all of whom are actually interested, even eager, to learn.

Thankyou for summing this up so nicely.

And yes, perhaps scum is a bit harsh as a descriptor.

Sleaz274 4:21 pm 24 May 11

More kids in private education means better educational outcomes for students in public schools as scarce resources are less utilised. This improves class sizes which in primary school’s at least is the single greatest determinant of educational outcomes.

Inversely the more students that attend private schools the worse the educational outcomes become for them. Assuming a set number of schools.

Summarised more succintly for triffid who I think proved my point with their own drunken (one can only presume) reasoning. Sounds like the opposite of a social class hierarchy.

triffid 3:12 pm 24 May 11

Sleaz274 said :

Surely it is better for the government if more parents elect to pay for private schools???

It reduces class sizes (the biggest factor in educational outcomes), reduces cost pressures on schools, reduces proportionally “problem” students or students with learning difficulties or disabilities which are a huge cost, reduces the workload for teachers…I’m sure those closer can keep going.

If people can afford to pay why shouldn’t they reduce the burden on the government and send their kids to private schools who receive funding anyway and are freer in their ability to determine how they spend that money??

Classic case of the market system working, the government safety net still works, yet people wanting to access better services for their kids pay extra.

And perhaps fewer plans, strategies, reviews, re-structures, recruitment campaigns, initiatives etc etc would be better for DET and then they can focus on teaching and teachers.

All of which presumes that we have the perfect world in which all parents actually have the ability to choose to pay for the (alledged) better services. But, why ought a kiddie with actual academic potential be forced — due to the operation of some abstracted classical market system — to accept ‘second best’ simply by virtue of their parent’s SES? We’re not talking about factories here, or the viscitudes of business and commerce.

Sounds a bit like a nod and a wink to a social class hierarchy to me.

miz 3:12 pm 24 May 11

Sepi’s “noone cares about virtual classrooms” just about sums it up – couldn’t agree more.

People send their kids to private schools to get away from trendy education fads and get back to basic, tried and true learning methods, such as learning times tables.
Obviously there is always a place for gifted and talented learning streams, but what is actually needed is trust that the public system will deliver for most students in some consistent way.

My advice to Mr Barr is forget fads, and get back to basics – single desk set ups to remove distraction (instead of weirdly grouped desk arrangements and ‘desk lotto’), and consolidation of basic learning tools such as times tables, mental arithmetic, phonics, spelling, writing skills, grammar, and book work. These are the skills that set kids up for life, no matter what they end up doing.

GardeningGirl 3:02 pm 24 May 11

Gerry-Built said :

as long as Barr refuses to accept that there are students that need to be removed from the “normal” school setting and given some form of intensive redirection, the situation will continue to worsen… I, for one, am sick of the problem students being ignored… They are a fact of life – but teachers, staff and schools need support to help deal with them. Whilst “scum” may be a harsh word to use for them; keep in mind we have in our Public Schools; kids that break the law, kids that assault other kids, kids that refuse to come to class to learn – and actively refuse to allow others to learn and kids with serious mental health issues. Whilst these difficult students attend normal classes, they are a distraction to the other kids, almost all of whom are actually interested, even eager, to learn.

+1

Sleaz274 2:41 pm 24 May 11

Surely it is better for the government if more parents elect to pay for private schools???

It reduces class sizes (the biggest factor in educational outcomes), reduces cost pressures on schools, reduces proportionally “problem” students or students with learning difficulties or disabilities which are a huge cost, reduces the workload for teachers…I’m sure those closer can keep going.

If people can afford to pay why shouldn’t they reduce the burden on the government and send their kids to private schools who receive funding anyway and are freer in their ability to determine how they spend that money??

Classic case of the market system working, the government safety net still works, yet people wanting to access better services for their kids pay extra.

And perhaps fewer plans, strategies, reviews, re-structures, recruitment campaigns, initiatives etc etc would be better for DET and then they can focus on teaching and teachers.

Watson 2:19 pm 24 May 11

There are some potential advantages in here for the very bright and some (pretty weak) policies to help the strugglers. But nothing for the majority of “average” students??

(I am deliberately ignoring this repeated debate about public school scum – there is already a popular thread for that – please take the discussion back there?)

Gerry-Built 1:39 pm 24 May 11

as long as Barr refuses to accept that there are students that need to be removed from the “normal” school setting and given some form of intensive redirection, the situation will continue to worsen… I, for one, am sick of the problem students being ignored… They are a fact of life – but teachers, staff and schools need support to help deal with them. Whilst “scum” may be a harsh word to use for them; keep in mind we have in our Public Schools; kids that break the law, kids that assault other kids, kids that refuse to come to class to learn – and actively refuse to allow others to learn and kids with serious mental health issues. Whilst these difficult students attend normal classes, they are a distraction to the other kids, almost all of whom are actually interested, even eager, to learn.

colourful sydney rac 1:16 pm 24 May 11

LeatherJen said :

Jim Jones said :

LeatherJen said :

The scum need to be identified and sent to a separate school. If the decent kids are allowed to learn, they will.

Just to clarify: you are referring to children as ‘scum’ right?

Some of them, yes.

which ones?

GardeningGirl 1:02 pm 24 May 11

sepi said :

HOnestly.

As per the last thread on public vs private education, the main thing anyone cares about fixing at public schools is the discipline issues and ensuring that kids are not scared of getting bashed up at school.

+1
I was telling that to a staffer at a Labor stall somewhere once when Barr arrived. You’d think hearing matters pertaining to his ministry he might’ve joined the conversation? No, he disappeared very promptly, leaving the staffer to continue pushing the line that there’s no problem, it’s not an issue.
Don’t listen to the parents, just throw some trendy technology and “better marketing” at the situation, yeah, that’ll work.

LeatherJen 12:50 pm 24 May 11

Jim Jones said :

LeatherJen said :

The scum need to be identified and sent to a separate school. If the decent kids are allowed to learn, they will.

Just to clarify: you are referring to children as ‘scum’ right?

Some of them, yes.

Jim Jones 12:45 pm 24 May 11

LeatherJen said :

The scum need to be identified and sent to a separate school. If the decent kids are allowed to learn, they will.

Just to clarify: you are referring to children as ‘scum’ right?

LeatherJen 12:32 pm 24 May 11

The scum need to be identified and sent to a separate school. If the decent kids are allowed to learn, they will.

sepi 12:24 pm 24 May 11

HOnestly.

As per the last thread on public vs private education, the main thing anyone cares about fixing at public schools is the discipline issues and ensuring that kids are not scared of getting bashed up at school.

noone cares about virtual classrooms.

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